Increasing Your Lodge Visibility: The Second In A Series

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
W.B. Gregory J. Knott

In the first installment of this series, I discussed the idea of setting in motion the goal for improving Now that you have decided that you want to improve and grow your lodge, how do you increase awareness to others about a group that is supposedly a secret society?  As many others have said and I came to quickly realize, we are a society with secrets, not a secret society. How do you explain this to others?  So as to not reinvent the wheel, I encourage you to read the post by R.W.B. Michael H. Shirley and Todd E. Creason 33° about creating a message about what Freemasonry is.
 
your lodge.

In this post I want to focus on how to make your lodge more visible and share some of the ideas that St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 .  As I learned visibility comes in a variety of ways and including physical visibility.
we have used at

Your lodge meets somewhere, and there is a very good chance that your lodge is an extremely important part of the physical community.   Perhaps you are in a downtown area or have moved the lodge to a growing part of the town on the fringe.   Either way your physical lodge may be the first contact or impression that the general public has of Freemasonry.

Many of our Masonic buildings are older, how well is yours maintained?  Does it have weeds growing around it and trash piled up?   As we know a first impression plays a vital role in what people think.  The exterior of our lodge was generally OK.  Our building is located in the heart of the old downtown business district and we have 2 commercial spaces on the ground level that are rented out and have hosted a variety of businesses over the years.

But the back of our building was a complete mess.  Weeds, garbage, broken glass, stumps, etc. all were very visible.  To make it worse we have a bank behind our building with the drive thru that goes right by us.   Each day, hundreds of persons were driving by and the mess was their impression of our lodge.

One day, we were talking and decided to start cleaning up this area.  The trash, weeds and glass were all removed.  We then decided, wouldn’t it be nice to have a patio to use.  So we had a nice cement pad poured for the patio.   A short time later we had one of the local Scouts who approached us needing a project to earn his Eagle Scout badge.

He proposed creating a covering for the new patio.  This would add some curb appeal and create some much needed shade in this open area.   The Lodge approved the project and contributed both funds and manpower to help the Scout complete his project.  One of the brothers donated some concrete planters and my wife Brooke and son Hayden did some plantings that really give the patio some color.

Hayden Knott at the St. Joseph Lodge Patio
The end result?  Each day as customers of the bank come through the drive thru, they see a very nicely built and landscaped area.   We put up a sign that clearly identifies the building as Masonic, which you cannot help but see as you come through the drive through.   

How did this help the lodge?  We received dozens of positive comments from the residents of St. Joseph who really were glad to see the area cleaned up.   The Scout, his father and brother all became members of our lodge (we will have another post about working with others in the community).  The lodge has a nice place to have cookouts and gather.

So that first impression that others have of your building and lodge may be helped with some good old fashioned cleaning and little bit of elbow grease.

Our next installment will be focused on working with others in the community and how this can impact membership.

~GJK

WB Gregory J. Knott is the Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), and Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL). He's a member of both the Scottish Rite, and the York Rite, and is the Charter Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club in Champaign-Urbana. He's also a member of the Ansar Shrine (IL) and the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. He holds membership also in The Masonic Society, The Scottish Rite Research Society and the Philalethes Society. Greg is very involved in Boy Scouts--an Eagle Scout himself, he serves the Grand Lodge of Illinois A. F. & A. M. as their representative to the National Association of Masonic Scouters.
 

 

1 comment:

  1. Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to produce a top notch article… but what can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and don’t seem to get anything done. St. Joseph Missouri Stump Removal

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